Jurgen Klopp unhappy as Liverpool set to be without Brazil stars against Leeds

By Harry Latham-Coyle

Jurgen Klopp is unhappy he will not have use of his Brazilian players against Leeds

(Picture: Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed his Brazilian stars are set to miss Sunday’s game against Leeds United.

Alisson and Fabinho have been ruled ineligible after the club did not release them to join up with Brazil during the window of international fixtures.

Had the players joined up with their national team, both would have had to quarantine in a hotel for ten days upon their return to the United Kingdom.

Klopp estimated it would take the players an additional ten days to get back up to speed after that quarantine period.

However the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has now triggered an “automatic restriction period” of five days which stops clubs picking players who have not been released, which is enforceable under Fifa rules and will nonetheless leave Klopp short of a pair of key players.

"It’s a really difficult situation and it’s really tricky for all the clubs and players... We should not forget that the players wanted to play these games. The clubs wanted to let players go but it was just not possible," Klopp told reporters on Friday.

"It looks like the real punishment is for the players because they can’t play. That’s what they do, that’s what they love to do. That’s really not ok. The world is still in a pandemic.

"The football players so far get exemptions which haven’t led to any spread in cities because of all the things we do during the week. It’s completely different to society out there. We get tested three times a week."

Forward Roberto Firmino is unavailable for Liverpool’s trip to Leeds but goalkeeper Alisson Becker and midfielder Fabinho are ineligible.

Brazil were unable to finish their game against Argentina when health authorities invaded the pitch to stop the match after accusing four of Argentina’s Premier League players of violating the country’s COVID-19 quarantine rules.

Brazil’s match against Argentina was suspended after health officials stormed the pitch (Getty Images)

"Nobody wants to see situations like that. Get the game cancelled, stopped in that moment," Klopp told the club’s website, adding that they could have played their qualifiers during the off-season instead of a second Copa America in two years.

"And now, the next thing, we have a football game to play again and they tell us we cannot play our Brazilian players. It’s like, ‘Huh?’ We did nothing.

"We didn’t organise the Copa America, we are not responsible for the games they couldn’t have played. We didn’t invite players, we didn’t say when they come back there’s no exemption. We all didn’t do that."


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